TaiSPO 2023, Sports and Fitness Taiwan Opens a New Chapter After a Glorious 40 Years with New Strategies to Create Business Opportunities for the Industry

TaiSPO organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) takes place at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2 from March 22 through 25, 2023. The exhibition, formerly known as Taiwan Int’l Sporting Goods Show for 40 years, will be unveiled this year as TaiSPO, Sports and Fitness Taiwan to reposition itself in alignment with global trends in fitness and sports technology, focusing on three major themes–sports & fitness, sustainable lifestyle and smart technology while facilitating exhibitors to materialize business opportunities in international markets.

Simon Wang, President & CEO of TAITRA, suggested at the pre-opening press conference on the 14th that this year’s exhibition will promote three new strategies—new ecosystem, new trend and new alliance. In implementation of the strategy of “new ecosystem,” the exhibition will be zoned according to sport environments instead of product categories as in previous years, which will expand imaginative possibilities of an ecosystem in the fitness and sports industry and bring together diverse product offerings in the same sport environment. For example, this year’s Outdoor Taipei will gather exhibitors of outdoor leisure products, which range from campers, tents to fishing tackle, and cross-country bicycles and recreational vehicles to conjure up an outdoor leisure space for parents and children to spend quality time together, presenting multiple facets of an outdoor sport and recreation culture.

To ride on “new trends,” two brand-new pavilions will be added to TaiSPO 2023. The Pavilion of Sports Tech will showcase fitness & sports products and services designed with concepts of AI, big data analysis, and cloud computing. Taiwan’s world-famous fitness equipment manufacturers, Johnson Health Tech and Dyaco, will both provide exhibition visitors with opportunities to experience performance-upgraded intelligence products. The All-age Fitness Zone features children’s play equipment and gym design for seniors, where visitors can find products and services that are instrumental in new life solutions that promote lifelong fitness and mobility in prevention of the need for long-term care.

TaiSPO is also keen to create new dynamics in the sports & fitness market through cross-sector alliances, collaborating with international sport competition organizers and celebrating concerted efforts of industry, government and academia. 2023 NPC Worldwide Muscle Contest organized by Fitness Factory, which will gather contestants and judges from around the world, is set to take place at TaiNEX 2 during TaiSPO and expected to raise the profile of the exhibition even further and advance international exchanges. The exhibition will also attest to the vigor and strength of Taiwanese startups in the sports industry as entrepreneurs incubated by the IAPS Tech Startup Accelerator at Yangming Chiaotung University are engaged as exhibitors and the achievements of the sports science research bridging project co-sponsored by Taiwan Normal University and the National Science and Technology Council are presented.

The new strategies have enabled 2023 TaiSPO to deliver promising results even before it officially opens. There are 43 first-time exhibitors, accounting for 25% of the total. Not only has the exhibition expanded its diversity with their participation, but it has also grown twofold in the overall scale from the year before with as many as 800 booths. In addition, it has also seen a significant increase in international participation, with multiple world-class sports and fitness organizations represented by high-level delegates, including WFSGI (the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry), FESI (the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry) and the Singapore Fitness Federation (SFA). In-person B2B matchmaking meetings are also coming back. So far nearly 600 international buyers from 50 plus countries have registered for a visit, and the number of private business meetings is expected to exceed 50.

TaiSPO 2023 will host a lineup of entertaining and informative events, including Taiwan’s first “Digital Sports Meet for Influencers,” where eight top sports influencers and players will compete on stage in four digital sports events—Stampede, SmartBoard, uGym 3D Rowing and VAR BOX shooting games and the Forum on Development of Sports Technology—Resilience, Sustainability and Beyond, which will be attended by business leaders from FESI, FIT Summit in Singapore, Johnson Health Tech, and Taiwan’s startups— IMOTEK and Uniigym.

This year’s TaiSPO has undergone a makeover from previous years to mirror the latest trends in the global market, connect technology and humanity, and foster exchange and partnership. TaiSPO is the annual must-attend trade show for everyone in the sports and fitness industry, where you will find most innovative solutions for smart sports and life. The exhibition starts on March 22nd and runs until 25th. Businesses are welcome to register online in advance for entry with business cards. It is scheduled to open to ticketed visitors on the third and fourth days. For more information about the exhibition and relevant events, please visit the official website: www.taispo.com.tw.


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IOC announces Olympic Esports Series 2023 with winners to be crowned at live finals in Singapore from 22 to 25 June, 2023

Source: AFTNN

On 1 March 2023, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced details of the Olympic Esports Series 2023, a global virtual and simulated sports competition created by the IOC and in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and game publishers. 

The initially confirmed featured games across nine sports are:

  • Archery (World Archery Federation, Tic Tac Bow),
  • Baseball (World Baseball Softball Confederation, WBSC eBASEBALL™: POWER PROS),
  • Chess (International Chess Federation, Chess.com),
  • Cycling (UCI, Zwift),
  • Dance (World DanceSport Federation, JustDance)
  • Motor sport (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, Gran Turismo).
  • Sailing (World Sailing, Virtual Regatta),
  • Taekwondo (World Taekwondo, Virtual Taekwondo)
  • Tennis (International Tennis Federation, Tennis Clash),


The Olympic Esports Series 2023 begins today, when both professional and amateur players from around the world are invited to take part in qualification rounds across a host of the featured games.

The Olympic Esports Series 2023 will culminate in live, in-person finals for the first time, with players having the opportunity to progress to the Olympic Esports Finals 2023. Taking place at Singapore’s Suntec Centre from 22 to 25 June, the finals action will be a highlight of the recently announced Olympic Esports Week 2023.

Coming together in Singapore for this unique competition, the players will compete in front of fans for the prestigious title of Olympic Esports Series winner. The thrilling finals action will be streamed globally across Olympics.com and Olympic social channels.

This evolved format of the IOC’s virtual competition builds on the successes of the Olympic Virtual Series. The 2021 series, which took place ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, attracted over 250,000 participants from across 100 countries to take part in competitions. The Olympic Esports Series 2023 marks another step in supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement, as laid out in Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and continues its collaboration with the gaming and esports communities to create new opportunities for players and fans alike.

Speaking at the announcement, David Lappartient, Chair of the IOC Esports Liaison Group, said: “The Olympic Movement brings people together in peaceful competition. The Olympic Esports Series 2023 is a continuation of that, with the ambition of creating more spaces to play for both players and fans of elite competition. We look forward to witnessing some of the world’s best compete on the global stage, as well as exploring together shared opportunities and lessons – across health and wellbeing, training and innovation.”

This follows the recent announcement that Singapore will host the first Olympic Esports Week 2023. Created in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), the four-day festival will showcase the very best of virtual sports – including technology exhibitions, show matches, expert panel discussions, and the first live finals of the Olympic Esports Series. The full programme and ticket details for the Olympic Esports Week 2023 will be revealed in April.

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The annual health-care cost of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer in Malaysia exceeds RM 9.65 billion (US $2.16 billion)

A new report from the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia and the World Health Organization (WHO), Direct Health-care Cost of Noncommunicable Diseases in Malaysia, reveals that hospitalizations, medical tests, medications, and primary care consultations of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, annually cost the Malaysian economy upwards of RM 9.65 billion. 

“Even without the additional threat posed by COVID-19, noncommunicable diseases are a significant health burden and public health challenge in our country. And while they are not an acute emergency or rapidly moving infectious disease, they are equally devastating to individuals, societies and economies,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Noor Hisham bin Abdullah, Director General of Health Malaysia.

NCDs are the main cause of death and disability in Malaysia. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adult Malaysians are living with diabetes, 1 in 3 are living with hypertension, and nearly half are overweight or obese (National Health and Morbidity Survey, 2019). The growing prevalence of NCDs is placing an increased strain on the country’s health system.

“We saw that among the most vulnerable to the virus are people with underlying health conditions, including NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, who have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease and are more likely to die from COVID-19,” continued Dr Hisham.  

“WHO continues to support the government of Malaysia in its efforts to address the growing challenge of NCDs through supporting addressing the risk factors, encouraging adoption of healthy lifestyles and strengthening primary care for early diagnosis and improved management of NCDs,” said Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Representative in Malaysia.

The report released today utilized data from the year 2017. The secured data were largely restricted to the public sector, and extrapolations to the private sector were based on assumptions. While the cost estimates are based on the best available data, they no doubt underestimate the real cost of the direct health-care costs associated with NCDs in Malaysia.

Aside from the health-care costs, previous studies have estimated the economic loss due to absenteeism, presenteeism in the workplace and the premature death of the working age population as upwards of RM 8.91 billion. In addition, the cost of disability and loss of healthy life years was estimated to be around RM 100.79 billion (The Impact of Noncommunicable Diseases and Their Risk Factors on Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product, 2020). 

This information can be used to identify cost-effective ways to prevent NCDs, reduce the costs of NCD management, and prioritize the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Dr Hisham calls on collaboration to have publicly informed, evidence-based policies that could support the change in Malaysian’s behaviour.

“The problem of NCDs in Malaysia is also compounded by the fact that the country has a rapidly ageing population in which the failure to address adequately the challenge of NCDs could significantly impact health-care costs and economic well-being of the community,” added Dr Rabindra.

Malaysia is expected to reach the status of an aged nation by 2030, with people over the age of 65 making up more than 14% of the population. With the population ageing, more and more people are expected to live with NCDs in the long term. Given this demographic change, NCDs’ health and economic burden can also be expected to increase over time.

“Increasing awareness about NCDs and their management among the general population and those at risk now will contribute to increased longevity and healthy ageing of Malaysian through a reduction of premature mortality due to NCDs and their complications” said Dr Rabindra.

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Take your 2023 Results to new levels with these 3 Fitness Trends

Shake up your workouts with these three fitness trends.

1. Smart Home Gyms to Complement In-Club Exercise

Home gyms became a hot commodity during the pandemic and their popularity is standing strong as
people invest in quality equipment to support their at-home exercise efforts. However, while many got
into the swing of convenient home workouts during Covid-19, many people realised that nothing compares to the motivation and energy that comes from working out with others. Now, with the resurgence of live workout experiences, exercisers can enjoy the best of both worlds. The majority of consumers now favour a 60:40 blend between live and digital workouts, with McKinsey research finding the number with hybrid fitness routines grew 41 per cent between 2020 and 2022. The study also found these consumers experienced significantly better results from their hybrid training.

With omni-fitness trending, more people are investing in home gym setups to replicate their favourite in-
gym activities at home, and MindBody’s 2022 Fitness Report (USA) found that 35 per cent of Americans
started going to an in-person fitness class that they first discovered through digital fitness. These savvy exercisers are also adding special one-off exercise experiences to their calendar. At the LES MILLS LIVE London event in October 2022, over 5,000 consumers came together for a thrilling weekend of fitness, and similarly (on a smaller scale) at LES MILLS LIVE Melbourne. The event comprised 40 per cent group fitness Instructors, 20 per cent gym members and 40 per cent LES MILLS+ members who were attending their first live fitness event. Pre-pandemic this type of event was attended predominately by fitness professionals.

2. Gamification at the Gym (or at Home)

Photo supplied by Les Mills

Tech-based workouts have been on the scene for some time, but innovation in this space is accelerating, with a raft of gamified training options and technologically-inspired exercise on the horizon. Gaming authorities report that two out of three Americans are now playing video games at least once a week – doing so to unwind, relieve stress and have fun. These psychological and physical benefits can peak when the gaming is fused with physical activity.

No longer is it just tech companies dabbling in the fitness space, now highly effective science-backed training programs are leveraging virtual reality and being adopted by the masses. Researchers have identified the ability to score exercise points, leader boards, unlockable content, levels, badges, and challenges and quests as the most popular ways bolster workout motivation, so we can expect more of this in the future. Combine this with connected trackers, and thriving online fitness communities, and you’ll have increasing opportunities to enjoy the motivation of a group while you get your fitness fix at home.

Group exercise studios are starting to serve up a new generation of immersive workouts where music, visuals, wearables, and Instructors combine in an exhilarating fitness experience. Down the track, virtual reality machines could soon become more prevalent on gym floors and clubs could offer high-tech cycles and treadmills that push your limits with racing games.

“The cultural convergence between fitness and gaming is sparking exciting collaborations and
innovative products …You can now be transported into the middle of the most popular martial arts workout on the planet.”

Rachael Newsham, Les Mills Program Director.

Meta named Les Mills BODYCOMBAT VR as the Best App of 2022! Get your hands on a virtual
reality headset and then dive into the exciting new world of BODYCOMBAT VR without leaving your
own home! Learn more: LES MILLS BODYCOMBAT on Oculus Quest | Oculus

3. Exercise Snacking

Photo supplied by Les Mills

If you think snacking sounds unhealthy, think again! (AFT Ed. We’re of course talking about fitness here and not nutrition). Small bite-sized snippets of activity are known as one of the healthiest ways to integrate fitness into your life. By peppering your day with short moments of movement it can change your mindset around exercise. No longer an onerous task that you need to schedule, instead you start to enjoy the benefits of exercise – most notably the endorphin rush – multiple times a day, whenever you get a spare minute.

Another reason this trend is taking off is the increasing evidence that breaking your exercise into smaller snack-sized training sessions could be just as good (if not better) than doing lengthier more sporadic training sessions. Research shows that frequency, not volume, drives strength gains. When exercisers choose frequency over volume, it typically leads to improved quality of movement.

Technique is more likely to be superior and exercises are executed with more integrity, so you can expect benefits across the board to be amplified.

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WHO and football icons rally to score a goal for “Health for All” to build healthier future

On Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day), the World Health Organization (WHO) teams up with international football icons to urge action by governments and people across the world to achieve health for all. UHC ensures that everyone, everywhere can access the support they need to be and stay healthy without being driven into financial hardship.

To mark UHC Day, WHO is launching two new tools: one to help governments design and deliver the right service coverage packages for their populations; and a second to provide people with reliable information to support the everyday decisions they make to protect their health and well-being.

 “The World Cup is the greatest prize in football, and the greatest prize in life is good health and well-being,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Health is not a luxury for the rich, but a fundamental human right, and the foundation of peaceful, prosperous and sustainable economies and societies. The tools we are launching today will help governments and individuals to realise that right.”

UHC Day 2022 comes at a critical time when countries across the world are rebuilding from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic while facing many other crises such as economic and energy constraints, climate change and conflict.

UHC Day kicks off the countdown to the high-level meeting on UHC which will be held at the United Nations General Assembly in 2023. Heads of State and Government, at the first high-level meeting on UHC in 2019, affirmed that health is a precondition for and an outcome and indicator of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They strongly recommitted to achieve UHC by 2030 by scaling up the global effort to build a healthier world for all. The 2023 meeting is an opportunity to take stock of progress and galvanize political support and global action towards achieving UHC targets.

UHC Day at the FIFA World Cup

On the eve of the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022™, WHO and its Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health, football legend Didier Drogba, led UHC Day celebrations in Doha, Qatar. This formed part of a full day of activities organized by the Education Above All Foundation to put a spotlight on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being.

“I found myself in the unusual place where if I had problems on the field, help arrived quickly, and we’ve seen how vital that support can be lately. But off the field, we know, this isn’t always the case,” Didier Drogba said. “Ill-equipped clinics, unsupported health workers, and not enough medicines and vaccines put people’s well-being at risk around the world. Good health needs a team effort, so we need governments to commit to policies that support Universal Health Coverage and give everyone access to what it takes to be healthy. When we team up for health for all, we all win.”

Football enthusiasts of all ages moved to show their support for health for all as electronic dance artist and vocalist, The Mad Stuntman, performed his famous song, “I Like to Move It,” highlighting the importance of staying active and the role of sport in promoting good health and well-being.

Sherrie Silver, Rwandan-British MTV Award winning choreographer, advocate for the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations, Malaria No More Ambassador and Rwandan development advocate also led the crowd in a dance-off, called the World Cup Workout.

“On Universal Health Coverage Day, let’s all be active and play our part to make health for all our goal, said Alisson Becker, goalkeeper for Brazil and Liverpool, and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion.

A new WHO tool to help countries deliver UHC

Achieving national health goals has been hampered by the lack of a structured approach in designing and delivering a comprehensive package of health services that are tailored to local contexts.

WHO is launching a new tool named the Universal Health Coverage Service Package Delivery and Implementation or UHC SPDI Tool to support countries in designing their unique UHC health service packages. This innovative and practical online tool includes functionalities that will allow national health planners to select from a comprehensive range of health services—spanning promotive, preventive, resuscitative, curative, rehabilitative and palliative services—that people need to reach the highest attainable standard of health and well-being.

The tool is also designed to help identify human resource needs, essential medical products, infrastructure and other elements required for the effective delivery of health services. It also emphasizes first contact primary and emergency care, and highlights a primary health care approach as the basis for strengthening health systems and bringing all sectors under the vision of achieving health for all. The successful implementation of a national health service package will ultimately equip countries to accelerate progress towards UHC.

Universal health information for “Health for All”

WHO also launched a digital resource for the public called, “Your life, your health: Tips and information for health and well-being.” It provides people across different life phases with trustworthy health information that they can easily access, understand and use in daily life.

The resource provides basic information, founded on WHO technical guidance, on important topics such as keeping well during pregnancy and after childbirth, or how to be healthy and active in later adulthood. It also provides information on people’s rights and skills related to accessing and using information for health and well-being.

LINK: : https://www.who.int/news/item/12-12-2022-who-and-football-icons-rally-to-score-a-goal-for–health-for-all–to-build-healthier-future

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Doctors develop new, accessible healthcare and wellness brand for men

Hisential’s reception area at Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur

Hisential, a men’s healthcare and wellness brand, has opened its first clinic at the prestigious Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Accessible to men of all ages, the warm and luxe-inspired clinic offers a variety of health optimisation services and treatments, including chronic disease management, regular health screenings, hair transplants, screenings and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as well as skincare solutions.

The idea for Hisential originated when founders Dr Anthony Stanislaus, Dr Ramesh Rajentheran, and Dr Vishaal Thadani noticed a gap in the market for men’s healthcare. The doctor-developed brand aims to empower men to take charge of their health and remove the stigma they face when speaking about healthcare issues.

“As men ourselves, we realised that while there are clinics out there that offer healthcare services to men, there’s no physical space that addresses our healthcare needs and concerns in a discreet, personalised way and with holistic treatments that suit our needs,” said Dr Anthony Stanislaus.

To ensure that patients receive the best and most effective treatments, Hisential’s doctors are all professionally certified in Malaysia and professionally trained to assist men with their various concerns. Hisential also uses best-in-class medical technology to provide the most effective non-invasive treatments and ensure that medical personnel undergo specialist training prior to operating any machinery.

“We’ve built a safe and luxurious space where men can come in, immediately feel at home and be assured that all their healthcare concerns will be addressed. We also encourage men of all ages to go for regular health and hormonal check-ups and to not be embarrassed to seek help. At Hisential, we are here to help you and give you the opportunity to live healthy and fulfilling lives,” he added.

The launch of Hisential’s clinic is the company’s first step into men’s healthcare. As part of its goal to destigmatise men’s healthcare, the company intends to roll out a membership plan as well as rolling out technology that enables a true-online experience to optimise both the patient experience and treatment outcomes. Additionally, the brand will introduce innovative skin care products that sit at the intersection of luxury and clinical science over the coming year.

For more information on Hisential’s treatments and services, visit www.hisential.com.

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The World Games 2025 Application for Sports Selection is underway

Seeking to be in at TWG 2025

With just under 1,000 days to go before the start of The World Games in Chengdu, Peoples Republic of China, the application process for the multi-sport event from 7-17 August 2025 has begun. Member Federations of the International World Games Association have until 16th December to submit their proposals for the sports programme.

The Evaluation Commission will then select the 30+ sports to be in Chengdu. After that, the IWGA Board of Directors will determine the programme that will most excite fans in China at the 2025 Games. The final vote will take place at the Annual General Meeting next spring. The entire process is being managed by Sebastian Garvens, Head of Games Services.

IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow expects the 12th edition of The World Games in the capital of China’s Sichuan Province to present new sports, or at least new disciplines. “There are always changes to the programme. At the Birmingham Games, for example, we awarded medals in Breaking, Parkour, Drone Racing and Flag Football for the first time. Wheelchair Rugby was there as a new sport. I assume that our Federations will want make use our platform in Chengdu for their young and emerging disciplines as well.

At the Games in Birmingham, USA, 34 sports with 58 disciplines and 223 medal events got their globally acclaimed stage during the ten competition days. At the 12th edition of the event, the number of sports on the programme will almost certainly expand. The strategy paper of the IWGA foresees that in addition to the sports of the Member Federations, there will be space in the programme made available for other partners. The host city Chengdu, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are all invited to participate with proposals for sports disciplines for TWG 2025. The number limit for participants in the Games in three years’ time has been set at 5,000.

Sebastian Garvens explains the criteria for the proposals from the Federations and other partners: “The medal events must not be part of the full Olympic programme in Los Angeles 2028. In addition, each Member Federation can propose a maximum of three disciplines. They must also ensure that the best athletes can compete in the medal events in August 2025.” Other factors that count in programme selection are audience interest in the host country, media interest in a sport, and whether the right kind of sports venue is available. One of the sustainability principles of The World Games is that no new sports facilities need to be built for the event. Gender equality is also important; IWGA allowed almost equal numbers of women and men to compete in the 2022 Games.

In preparation for their applications, the IWGA has sent a questionnaire to the Member Federations. It helps to provide the necessary information for the Evaluation team: the description of the disciplines and events, the number of athletes and competition days, as well as the prerequisites to be created for a competition at the highest level.

The compilation of the sports and disciplines is only the first step on the way to the competition programme for The World Games 2025 in Chengdu. After that, it is a matter of creating a suitable schedule and selecting the appropriate competition venues. The whole process should be largely completed by the fall of 2023. The IWGA will schedule a Competition Managers Meeting for the fourth quarter next year. During the two-days meeting, the concrete implementation of the plans will dominate the agenda.

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Telehealth usage in Asia Pacific for people living with HIV increasing, but Data Privacy and lack of personal contact still seen as a barrier to wider use

Half of the people living with HIV (PLHIV) and individuals at-risk (IARs) surveyed in the region increased their usage of telehealth services over the past year; this is driven by the availability of new telehealth services during pandemic

– Top factor impacting usage of telehealth services for PLHIV is data privacy (43%), while lack of personal contact is the primary concern for IARs (47%)

– Around 1 in 3 respondents chose telehealth services provided by healthcare providers (HCPs) as the most trustworthy source for HIV prevention and care information

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the access and delivery of essential care worldwide, Gilead Sciences today announced findings from a survey conducted to examine changes in the motivations and use of telehealth services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and individuals at-risk (IARs) in the Asia Pacific.  

The regional survey results were based on responses from 1,531 respondents, comprising 787 PLHIV and 744 IARs, across nine countries/territories in the Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam) received during June to September 2022. The survey explored the perspective of PLHIV and IARs to better understand how HIV telehealth services can be improved. This builds on the first Gilead HIV Pulse Survey conducted in 2020 whereby 56% of PLHIV and 64% of IAR reported no access to telehealth services with their doctors[1]. Since then, an analysis into the 2022 responses found that:

  • Regionally, more than half of PLHIV (56%) and IARs (54%) surveyed increased their use of telehealth services over the past year, although there was high variation in the scale of increase between countries/territories. The biggest increase was seen in the Philippines, for both PLHIV (71%) and IARs (83%), followed by Vietnam and Malaysia.
  • This uptick in telehealth usage was attributed to the availability of new services launched during the COVID-19 crisis. Respondents stated that convenience, flexibility, and improved access to additional HIV information were top three reasons why they started to use telehealth.
  • However, the survey found almost half of PLHIV and around one-third of IARs were concerned about data privacy issues (43%; 35%), while nearly half of IARs (47%) felt uncomfortable about the lack of in-person contact when using telehealth services.
  • 1 in 3 respondents ranked services managed by healthcare providers (HCPs) and local HIV community groups as the most trustworthy sources for online HIV prevention and care services. At a time of widespread misinformation[2], it is important for trusted providers to enhance their provision of telehealth services.  

“UNAIDS’ call to action for World AIDS Day 2022 is EQUALIZE, which is why the results of this survey is timely to demonstrate where and how the use of telehealth has grown across the Asia Pacific. If telehealth use is going to remain high beyond the COVID-19 crisis, we need to ensure equity of access,” said Caroline Choi, Senior Director and Medical Affairs Asia 5 Lead, Gilead Sciences. “Not only do HCPs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) need to implement innovative forms of care, such as providing e-prescriptions, but healthcare systems must also adapt to the needs of patients when modernizing HIV services.”

“The pandemic has ushered in confidence for the public to be an active participant in managing their own health,” said Sumita Banerjee, Executive Director, Action for AIDS (AfA) Singapore. “In the context of HIV, telehealth services that have been endorsed and approved by relevant authorities may provide additional support to existing services to retain PLHIV in care. The study provides insights to understand the expectations that PLHIV and key populations have from using such a service.”

“With stigma still unfortunately a barrier for some PLHIV and IARs seeking high-quality medical help and advice, it is important to note that at present, telehealth is not a silver bullet. It is clear from this survey that two-way communications with HCPs or CBOs are especially important for those on antiretroviral therapy (ART) which could help improve their adherence to medicine,” said Dr. Julian Ng, Deputy CEO of DTAP Clinic Pte Ltd. “This is an opportunity for telehealth providers to further tailor their online services in order to give patients what they want and what they need.”

About the HIV Asia Study 2.0: Enhancing HIV services to build back from COVID-19

The quantitative online survey was conducted from June to September 2022 and compiled by Cerner Enviza (formerly Kantar Health) with funding from Gilead Sciences. Conducted across 9 target markets (Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam), it aims to define optimal engagement configurations using telehealth services to improve access to HIV testing and preventive medications. 1,531 respondents, comprising of 787 PLHIV and 744 IAR, participated in the survey. Two CBOs from each market were also interviewed to gain insights on the engagement configurations for PLHIV and IARs during COVID-19.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer.

For 35 years, Gilead has been a leading innovator in the field of HIV, driving advances in treatment, prevention and cure research. Gilead is committed to continued scientific innovation to provide solutions for the evolving needs of people affected by HIV around the world. Through partnerships and collaborations, the company also aims to improve education, expand access and address barriers to care, with the goal of ending the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere. Gilead was recognized as the number one philanthropic funder of HIV-related programs in a report released by Funders Concerned About AIDS.

In Asia, Gilead has launched the Asia Pacific Rainbow Grant since 2018, providing more than USD 4.5 million to 112 organizations across Asia Pacific. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com/, follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-30. 

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AsiaFitnessToday.com Telehealth usage in Asia Pacific for people living with HIV increasing, but Data Privacy and lack of personal contact still seen as a barrier to wider use is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Source: https://www.asiafitnesstoday.com/telehealth-usage-in-asia-pacific-for-people-living-with-hiv-increasing-but-data-privacy-and-lack-of-personal-contact-still-seen-as-a-barrier-to-wider-use

Korea to host world’s biggest drone racing competition in 2023

The World Air Sports Federation or Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) has awarded the 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship to Korea. It is the biggest competition of its kind, offering an arena for the world’s best pilots to pit their skills against one another.

The Championship will take place from 6 to 9 October 2023 at the Chunhyangol Stadium in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do, about two hours south of Seoul. It will include prize money of USD 100,000.

Chunhyangol Stadium

KAMA, one of the sport’s most experienced organisers worldwide, is teaming up with the Federation of Korea Aeronautics and the city of Namwon to deliver the Championship, with the aim of organising a top-level event for competitors and spectators alike. Aside from the Drone Racing competition, an FAI Drone Soccer competition, a Drone Conference and other side events will familiarise spectators with the infinite world of drones. Music concerts and an array of cultural activities will complete the picture in the field of entertainment, while experts will debate and discuss drones at a conference.

Drone Soccer

Antonis Papadopoulos, President of the FAI Aeromodelling Commission, said: “We are delighted with the 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship being held in Korea, knowing this exciting competition has been entrusted to the hands of highly competent and experienced organisers. Their ambitious plans to showcase drones in all their variety, competition and otherwise, is promising to be a hit with everyone. And I must say, after two years of interruption, we are all impatient to see the world’s best of the best pilots fight for victory. This event cannot come soon enough!”

The two first editions of the FAI Drone Racing World Championship happened in Shenzhen (2018) and Ningbo (2019), China, before a three-year gap caused by the pandemic.

Drone Racing

Zulal Wellness Resort Launches ‘Mother-To-Be’ Retreat


Prenatal programme to nurture and empower women at any stage of their pregnancy

Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, the Middle East’s largest wellness destination and the world’s first family wellness offering, unveils its new Mother-to-Be retreat. The two- to eight-night prenatal programme combines tailored nutrition, holistic therapies, pampering spa treatments and gentle movement to enhance wellbeing and ready mothers for the most important chapter of their lives. Zulal Wellness Resort’s peaceful setting, surrounded by the tranquility of Qatar’s northern desert and the Arabian Gulf, is ideal for mothers to be looking to relax and prepare themselves for the birth of their child. Their journey will be guided by a team of licensed maternal care experts, nutritionists, chefs, therapists and personal trainers.

The ‘Mother-To-Be’ programme is open to women at any stage of their pregnancy and can be tailored to include partners. Beginning with a holistic consultation, a personalised selection of activities will enable mothers to handle the physical changes that occur during pregnancyease aches and painsimprove sleep and strengthen the body in preparation for childbirth.  In addition, they will have time to bond with their partners and their babies.

A wide range of activities and treatments are available, including postural corrective therapy and Gyrotonic movement to relieve pain and swelling and improve posture; acupuncture to alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and heartburn; meditation and breathing exercises to support mothers during labour; and prenatal yoga, massage and aromatherapy to relax the body and mind.

A core part of the retreat is quality prenatal nutrition. A nutritional consultant will provide tailored advice about making healthy food choices and maintaining a balanced diet, and three bio-individualised wellness meals are included per night of stay.

The Mother-To-Be retreat is inclusive of accommodation, wellness meals, consultations and treatments, with a minimum stay of two nights.

Visit www.zulal.com or follow @zulalwellnessresort on Facebook or Instagram for more information.

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